Calls for urgent intervention in Emfuleni amid late salary payments

The Citizen reports that the embattled Emfuleni Local Municipality in the south of Johannesburg continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. This time around, irate employees embarked on sporadic protest actions in recent days, demanding their salary payments for the month of May. Regional chairperson of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), Rhau Mphahlele said the situation of delayed payments to workers has now happened for the third time since the start of this year. Mphahlele called on the employer to engage Rand Water and Eskom  to find a lasting solution to their debt dispute as it is impacting badly on workers.

“As we speak, workers are being paid but as the union we are still going to engage in mapping out the way forward because this situation is forever recurring. “This financial situation of Emfuleni did not start with the current administration as this council was under Section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution and it did not produce any positive results,” said Mphahlele. Mphahlele is of the view that if this situation is not arrested soon the whole institution will totally collapse. “The continuation of the bank account attachments by Rand Water and Eskom means that no services will be rendered to our communities, and this is why we are also calling on Provincial and National Governments to step in and assist this municipality as a matter of urgency,” Mphahlele said. In a statement issued on Monday, the municipality apologised to all employees for the delays, saying the municipality is currently going through turbulent times. Emfuleni spokesperson Makhosonke Sangweni said they continue to look forward to collaborating with Eskom, Rand Water and all other creditors in finding solutions that serve the interests of communities while maintaining a positive and cordial relationship.

by Stephen Tau

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